Hague stories — Five hours lost in fog
What was supposed to be a charming moon-light cruise turned into an awake nightmare in 1913 when thirty guests of the Trout House in Hague, on board the pleasure launch “Camelia,” got lost for nearly five hours in a dense fog hovering over Lake George.
When all were safe and sound, however, the experience was proclaimed “one of the most exciting times to befall any of the summer visitors at Hague” during season.
There was no question of the competence of pilot Claude Leach, who had served in 1911 as an engineer for missionary Dr. Wilfred T. Grenfell on his voyage to Labrador on board the schooner-rigged cruiser George B. Cluett, named for the Troy garment industry executive who funded construction of the vessel.
It was simply a case of a natural phenomenon.
Leach and his “party of merry-makers” set out from the Trout House dock at 8 p.m. July 28, 1913 for Fort Ticonderoga.
“Arriving at the Fort they whittled away the time until eleven-thirty, when they started back for the Trout House,” the Lake George Mirror reported on Aug. 2, 1913. “Just south of Rogers Slide the boat was completely enveloped in a dense fog and the land was shut from view on all sides.”
Leach, unable to distinguish any landmarks, could only guess at the direction of land.
After three hours, Leach spotted lights, which turned out to be from the Glenburnie Inn.
The boat’s propeller was damaged when it scraped on a rocky ledge as Leach navigated into the bay.
“After staying at the Glenburnie dock for nearly an hour, a light wind came up, and the boat was headed for the Trout House, using the wind as a guide. They arrived at the Trout House dock at nearly five o’clock Tuesday morning.”
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